Luxury Weekend Getaways From Bengaluru for Pure Indulgence

Luxury Enough is enough! The humdrum of everyday life and routine is driving you crazy. Get up, go to work, come home, work some more. This isn’t what life should be about! Where’s the fun, where’s the ‘me’ time, where’s the pampering?

Luxury

You can find all this and more at these great luxury weekend getaways from Bengaluru.

1. Coorg

At a distance of a little over 230 kilometres from Bengaluru, Coorg or Kodagu is abounding with coffee plantations. Blessed with nature’s bounty, the landscape in the ‘Scotland of India’ is a dream with cascading waterfalls, quaint villages and undulating hills in different shades of green everywhere you look. Tucked away in this pristine setting are luxury resorts and hotels that make for the perfect weekend getaway to rejuvenate your senses. Go ahead, take a deep breath and relax!

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2. Vythiri Resort, Vythiri

For an experience that’s worthy of endless ‘oh wows’, escape to the Vythiri Resort, 300 kilometres from Bengaluru. Nestled in the interiors of tropical rainforest, the resort spans 150 acres of verdant grounds complete with a stream. The only sounds you’re likely to hear here are those of birds that surround you everywhere. The accommodation here is truly unique with Pool Villas, independent cottages and Tree Houses, all of which are luxuriously furnished.  Vythiri Resort is stunning in every way with a rope bridge and several vantage point sit-outs. Facilities like a spa, health club and swimming pool makes it all the more enticing.

3. Wayanad

Wayanad in Kerala is truly ‘God’s Own Country’. About 260 kilometres from Bengaluru, Wayanad is the heart of spice and coffee plantations in the region. It’s location in the southern tip of the Deccan Plateau in the Western Ghats makes it both scenic and serene. Wayanad is also home to ancient temples and caves along with wildlife sanctuaries and waterfalls that are especially popular for their rich flora and fauna. Most of the luxury resorts in Wayanad offer traditional Ayurveda treatments to give you all the help you need to recharge your batteries.

4. The Serai, Kabini

If you’re looking for a luxury getaway in the heart of the wilderness, then look no further that The Serai. A 200 kilometre drive gets you to this elegant resort where the bounties of nature welcome you with open arms. Kabini has the distinction of being home to Asia’s largest herd of elephants. The Serai offers an opportunity to truly be one with nature with guided jungle and nature walks, bicycle trails and water activities like kayaking. Accommodation options include Waterfront Verandahs, Waterfront Villas and The Residences, all impeccably furnished with hospitality to match.

5. Chikmagalur

On the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur is a quaint hill station 250 kilometres from Bengaluru. With several hidden gems, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in trekking, fishing and kayaking. Those who prefer something more leisurely can enjoy nature walks or a round of golf at the charming Chikmagalur Golf Club. A destination that makes unwinding easy, Chikmagalur has several luxury resorts to choose from offering the finest in accommodation and facilities.

6. The Windflower Tusker Trails, Bandipur

Bandipur, at a distance of 235 kilometres from Bengaluru, is a wildlife reserve with teeming wildlife including tigers, leopards and elephants. The Windflower Tusker Trails jungle retreat strikes the perfect balance in preserving the fragile ecosystem while offering guests luxurious dwellings and amenities. Go on a wildlife safari, treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment or satiate your taste buds with an authentic meal, whatever your idea of happiness is; you’re likely to find it at The Windflower Tusker Trails.

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7. Yercaud

At an altitude of 1,515 metres above sea level, Yercaud is a hill station about 225 kilometres from Bengaluru. Fondly called the ‘Jewel of the South’, Yercaud gets its name from the forests surrounding the lake, which is the centre of life and activity. Located in the Eastern Ghats, attractions at Yercaud include trekking trails, temples, waterfalls and vantage points. With scenic beauty that delights the senses, there are several resorts to choose from at Yercaud on your luxury weekend getaway.

8. Soukya, Dr. Mathai’s International Holistic Health Centre, Bengaluru

If it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for everyone else too! Soukya, Dr. Mathai’s International Holistic Health Centre came in to the limelight after HRH The Duchess of Cornwall became a patron in 2010. Located about 37 kilometres from Bengaluru’s city centre, Soukya is a unique facility that helps restore the natural balance of the mind, body and soul by combining modern medical advancements, ancient medical techniques including Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Naturopathy and other complementary therapies customised to suit each individual’s needs. Whether spending a weekend, a week or longer, Soukya, Dr. Mathai’s International Holistic Health Centre will leave you refreshed, revived and rejuvenated.

9. Mysore

Not exactly a conventional luxury weekend break getaway destination, Mysore at a distance of 150 kilometres from Bengaluru offers many surprises. Along with the history and architecture of the city including the majestic Mysore Palace, Mysore has several luxury resorts that offer the peace and quiet you may be seeking. Add to this, traditional Ayurveda spa facilities and you’re guaranteed to have a relaxing time.

10. Angsana Bengaluru, Bengaluru

Less than 25 kilometres from Bengaluru airport, Angsana Bengaluru is a great escape in to the lap of luxury amidst nature. Exuding serenity, the environs are lush and welcoming with the sounds of waterbodies and birds filling the air. Exclusive facilities at this world-class resort include a spa and Aqua Marine Deck, a private dining venue. A weekend spent being pampered at Angsana Bengaluru is bound to leave you rested and ready to take on life head-on!

Kerala – Of Incredible Backwaters and Sunsets

Sunsets Green, blue and orange; these three shades colour my imagination every time I think of Kerala. Undulating palms, white sandy beaches, placid backwaters, light breeze whistling on your ears, birds flying all around, and sunsets so beautiful they can reinstate you faith in god, Kerela makes for an excellent rendezvous with nature.

Sunsets

From the Nilgiri Mountains to the backwaters of Alappuzha, from the beach of Kovalam to the Guruvayoor Temple, and from the village of Thenmala to the Palaces at Sree Padmanabhapuram, I’ve seen a lot on my trips to Kerala. Here’s a lowdown on what you must experience on your trip.

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Nature

Kovalam Beach is the signature beach here. Cozy coves, a perfect palm-fringed coastline, and lovely surf-washed shores, Kovalam is a beach delight you wouldn’t want to miss for the world. It spans three areas, the Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach and the Hawah Beach. Very similar but more secluded and fresh is the Marari Beach featuring miles of sandy shores, swaying palms, and a chance to experience local life in Kerala. My hot favourite is the Muzhappilangad Beach. Why? I drove my friend’s 4-wheel drive on this beach. It is the only drive-in beach in the country. It’s a rush to open throttle on this sandy expanse, witness the surf splash your windscreen, and see the sun colour the skies orange.

Backwaters are everywhere in Kerala. However, the one in Vembanad (spread out in Alappuzha and Kottayam) is the most beautiful of them all. If you look closer and concentrate, you can actually feel time come to a stop watching your boat ambling through the backwaters, and revealing a kind of beauty you wouldn’t come across anywhere else in the world. Talking of boats, I was just reminded of the incredible Vallam Kalis…

Vallam Kalis (boat races) happen in Kerala all the time. Long wooden canoes oared by close to a 100 rowers at a time, these boat races are a spectacle you shouldn’t miss. The best ones in the state include the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, one of the most-watched Vallam Kali, held in August as a tribute to the former Indian Prime Minister; and the Aranmula Boat Race, which is held on the Pampa River for Onam celebrations at the Aranamula Parthasarthy Temple.

Another good way to cruise the expansive backwaters of Kerala is by renting a houseboat. While the cost of accommodation might vary from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 8,000 per night, just the natural surroundings are enough to assure you your money’s worth. The water, the tranquility, and the evening sunsets coupled with some great Keralan sea food will conjure up an atmosphere you wouldn’t want to part with, ever.

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Leisure

Nowadays, catamarans in Kerala come with motors so you wouldn’t have to row. Well, I guess, it’s too much of a price to pay for spoiling your peace amid beautiful backwaters. So I recommend you pick one without a motor and row on as far as you can. You can find catamarans rides in Kovalam and Allepey.

Don’t leave Kerala without spending an hour of pure vanity in an Ayurvedic Spa. This is one thing all of Kerala is famous for. Little Ayurvedic treatment centres have sprouted everywhere. Most of these are what we can call ‘pleasure spas’ as the treatments here will help you to relax, and at the most, stretch your body a bit.  My favourite is the Lake Village Backwater Resort in Kottayam. It offers some great Ayurvedic packages for both relaxation and real ailments like spinal disorders, rheumatism, migraines, tissue disorders, cervical lumbar spondylosis, and others.

Until recently, Kerala was oblivious to eco-tourism. Local lifestyles are now open for explorations at the Thenmala Village. This is one of the first eco-tourism spots in Indian and showcases rare trees, picturesque nature trails, a butterfly garden and a deer park, a lotus garden, and lots more. Live here like the locals do and enjoy adventure activities like trekking, boating and fishing. There are two more I have heard of that offer a similar kind of experience. They are Akkalum Tourist Village and the Kumbalangi Model Village. You can try visiting them as well.

For a showdown with Kerala’s tigers, I suggest you book a safari at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll require permission to enter and will be accompanied by a Forest Officer, who will guide you through the wild and also help you communicate with local tribesmen. This safari, for me, is one of those things unforgettable experiences are made of…

5 Reasons to Add a Vagamon Trip to Your Kerala Itinerary

Add A small town perfect for an escape into nature, Vagamon is a hill station that is also Kerala’s best-kept secret. Located on the Idukki-Kottayam border, this hill town is easily accessible through a scenic drive from any of the major towns of Kerala. From spending time in relaxing retreats to taking part in adventure activities, there are many adventurous things to do in Vagamon.

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Here is what you can do on your Vagamon trip to make the most of your time in Kerala.

Paragliding in Vagamon

The best way to capture the abundant beauty of a hill station is by paragliding. As Vagamon is famous as the hub for adventure activities in Kerala, you shouldn’t miss paragliding here. Beginners could go for a one time soar in the sky and professionals could complete their paragliding course at ASSTA (Adventure Sports and Sustainable Tourism Academy). Soar over grass hill lands and majestic mountains, and capture the beauty of nature with your eyes.

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Hill-top Camping

Another adrenaline pumping yet soul-refreshing experience is camping in Vagamon. The most famous camping spot in Vagamon is located 6 km away from the Vagamon bus stop. You can plan a camping trip by booking a Kerala camping itinerary or choose to go on an expedition on your own. Trekking through the breezy environs accompanied by dense greenery is going to be an experience that you would want to keep reliving. The most famous thing to do in Vagamon is spending a night under the stars in a comfortable tent and losing yourself in nature’s beauty.

Trekking to Urumbi Hills

Breath-taking encounters with nature are unavoidable on a Vagamon trip. If you are looking for peace, a trek to Urumbi Hills is a must-do in Vagamon. The Urumbi Hill camping spot is located 24 km away from the Vagamon Bus Stop. The unique trekking and off-road trails make this camp a favourite among the adrenaline junkies. Surrounded by peace and green tea plantations, it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Vagamon.

Boat Ride on Vagamon Lake

If you are looking for a place to contemplate life during your Vagamon trip, a serene lake will be the perfect spot. To the many attractions of this hill town, Vagamon Lake is yet another soul-rejuvenating addition. Enveloped by verdant tea estates and adorned with a wooden bridge crossing in the middle, this lake will make you feel like you have stepped into a painting. Click pictures, admire nature, and enjoy your time in Vagamon.

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Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary

No hill station feels complete without its native woodland creatures. One place where you can spot wildlife on a Kerala itinerary is the Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary, around 10 km away from Vagamon. A visit to the wildlife sanctuary will take you further into the abundance of nature. The sanctuary is home to tigers, elephants, and other native animals, so keep your binoculars handy. The place is also vouched as a famous picnic spot for anybody on a trip to Vagamon. Plan a day here with your friends, family, or spouse and relax in the peaceful environs.

Best Kerala a Which Proves it is a Coastal Paradise

Kerala, also known as God’s own country, is in the Southern part of India (Southwestern, to be precise). Not so surprisingly, Kerala indeed looks heavenly, with so many landscapes and greenery all around it. Palm Beaches, backwaters, tea plantations on beautiful mountains…that’s serenity right there! So, what do you do with a place so beautiful? Explore it to your heart’s content of course! And you can take our word for it, it won’t disappoint you. Words can express how beautiful Kerala is. But numbers can! So, we give it a 10/10!

Kerala

With so many options in Kerala, don’t forget to choose the perfect travel tickets and offers from Goibibo. Some of them out there are just interested in duping you without giving you the real feeling of Kerala, Make sure you choose the right travel group! You can also choose to travel alone or in a small group. This will help you keep your budget tight and yet make your trip adventurous. Not to forget, the exposure and knowledge it offers! So, if you want to know where you need to be for a vacation Kerala, read the entire article and thank us later!

Kovalam- For beach lovers

If you love beaches, there is no way you can hate Kovalam. Arguably the best beach in Kerala and one of the best beach location in Kerala, Kovalam is its own paradise. With multiple beaches and activities in this place, say good-bye to boredom. Be it water sports, ayurvedic treatments or massages, there is never a dull moment in Kovalam. Lighthouse beach is one of the most famous beaches in Kovalam.

How To Reach: Extremely close to both the railway and airport (15 kms from each). So, reaching here is pretty easy.

Varkala- Beauty meets horizon

One of the best seasides in the country, Varkala has greenery on one side and cliffs on the other. Sounds enchanting, right? With loads of water-sports and activities all around it, you will not forget this piece of unique place in Kerala. One of the best sunset points, this place also has a lot of cultural ties to it.

How To Reach: Trivandrum Airport is 50 kms from this place. The railway station is also close by.

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Kannur – Coastal heaven

Popular as a weaving town, this small and breathtaking place still has a lot of colonial beauty attached to it.  Cashew plantations and a lot of other beautiful temples, Kannur is sure to take your breath away if you are looking for an escape and explore a small town on your own.

How To Reach: Kannur Railway Station is the closest and a major railway station.

Kasargod- Paradise on earth

The embodiment of coastal lands of Kerala, this beautiful place is situated in between the Western Ghats. Arabian sea-facing on the other side, it is a perfect place for all your photoshoots and social media shenanigans. Be it the temples or the scenic beauty, Kasargod is one of the few places no one would mind going over and over again!

How To Reach: Kasargod Rail Station is the closest.

Kizhunna- Solitary Pleasure

If you like beaches and hate crowds, this one’s for you! With a twin beach, and loads of activities, this is one of the lesser known beaches of Kerala. Secluded and peaceful, it also has a couple of museums for the folks who like to look into the past.

How To Reach: Kannur happens to be the closest railway station to Kizhunna.

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Thrissur- Waterfalls and Beauty

Known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur boasts of waterfalls and beaches alike. Visit this place just after the or during the monsoon to enjoy the picturesque waterfalls of kerala. You can also visit Thrissur during the April to May window to enjoy the Thrissur Pooram Festival.

How To Reach: Thrissur Railway station is the closest and can be reached easily from any major station Kerala.

Poovar- Classy Resort Stays

If you are looking for classy stays at resorts, this is the place you have to be! Situated in Trivandrum, it has a beautiful scenic view with loads of resorts facing the sea. If you are planning only for a time away and yet stay inside, there is no better place than this. Visit this place during the autumn-winter season for a perfect stay!

How To Reach: The distance between Thiruvananthapuram railway station to Poovar is 55 kilometers.

Kuttanad- Rural charm and backwaters

If you are looking for a peaceful and enchanting rural side of Kerala, this is it. Kerala is famous for its farmland surrounded by canals and inland waterways. If that is what you seek, Kuttanad will enchant you like no other! Its rural beauty can mesmerize anyone who lands up there!

How To Reach: Alappuzha is the closest railway station.

Top 5 South Indian Food and Dishes for Hungry Travelers

Dishes The words Indian and food together may bring out an aromatic picture of soft, puffy naans, juicy butter chicken dishes, luscious kebab platters and spicy mixed vegetable curries with creamy lentil soup in your mind. But that’s not all there is when it comes to Indian food. The aforementioned delicacies are just a part of the vast ocean that is the Indian cuisine and hails from the north of the country. Dishes

South Indian cuisine is definitely polar opposite with amazing flavors and hearty tastes. The south India mainly comprises of Andhra PradeshTelengana, Tamil NaduKarnataka and Kerala with each having their own variant of the commonly known south Indian dishes along with an array of regional specialities.

To get a good introduction to South Indian Dishes, here are the ones you must seek out:

#1. Masala Dosa –  South Indian rice flour crepes

This is a traditional south Indian breakfast item, but also eaten at other time of meals and is available with its own regional twist throughout the country. These dosa crepes can vary on their type of filling inside along with the level of crunchiness of the crepes.

They are usually served with an accompaniment of hot and sour lentil soup called sambar and some creamy coconut chutney often flavored with mint or curry leaves.  The top variants of dosa include – masala, plain and rava or paper dosa. The plain one is just hollow without any fillings the masala dosa has a filling of or is served with mashed potato with onions and tomatoes in the side. The rava variant is made with semolina and offers added crunch to the dish.

Nowadays other variants of the masala dosa are also available where several places have gotten creative with the inner fillings, like – cottage cheese, vegetables and others.

However, before you try the modern favorites it is strongly recommended that you go with the simple masala dosa first, as it is uniquely textured light on the palate yet filling and best taken hot out of the griddle.

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#2. Idlis – Steamed rice cakes

These are ivory coloured, soft, fluffy rice cakes with texture similar to soft bread but with unique flavors. Idlis are a hot favorite of many south Indian or simply Indian families and is a popular breakfast dish, served with hot and sour lentil soup with vegetables called sambar and coconut chutney.

If fiery flavors aren’t your thing and you would rather try a comfort food with mild tastes and soft and fluffy textures, then idli is the way to go.

#3. Vada – Savory doughnuts

While the look of these might trigger you sweet tooth hankering but these are nothing but savory! They will however, satiate your cravings for deep fried, hot and crisp munchies and that too for breakfast! Another breakfast favorite in south India, these vadas look almost like doughnuts but are not at all sweet.

They are made from black lentil mixtures and are gently spiced with pepper-corns, curry leaves, cumin and chili and sometimes contain mild hints of onion. They are crunchy breakfast fritters, best enjoyed hot with a generous smear of coconut chutney.

#4. Uttapam – Pizza meets pancakes

It is not easy to compare Uttapams with either a pizza or a pancake. But it is a harmonious hybrid of both with its own unique identity. It is cooked like a pancake with a ladle full of fermented rice and lentil mixture poured onto a hot griddle. Then they are sprinkled with toppings like chopped tomatoes, onions and chilies, coconut and carrots or other choice of toppings.

This results in a porous yet fluffy delicious dish called Uttapam, which is almost like dosa but softer and are usually sampled with or without other accompaniments of chutneys or soups.

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#5. Appams with istew – Pancake with istew

Appams are south Indian pancakes almost like crepes similar to dosa, made with fermented rice flour and coconut milk. They are soft, light and fluffy and best eaten with a generous serving of istew or ishtu. Istew is a freshly made coconut milk infused stew of fresh vegetables like shallots and peppers, spiced mildly with a cooked meat of your choice. The most common options are chicken, mutton or vegetable istew.

#6. Banana chips – Chips with a difference

These are yellow, hot and crunchy roadside delights fried freshly in hot oil. A common sight in South India, these are in famous tea time samplers usually mildly flavored with coconut as are fried in coconut oil. They are usually coated with salt and mild spices but may also be covered with jiggery.

Famous Places to Visit in Natural Beauty Bangalore

Bangalore is a city filled with heritage of natural beauty and man-made wonders. It is the first in many genres, even in getting a city logo (source). If you are planning to visit Bangalore, you are in for a treat. It is one of the iconic destinations of southern India. Even luxury trains of the land cover Bangalore in their itineraries.

bangalore

Do you want to cover Bangalore with luxury trains? Here are the top suggested tour packages of luxury trains.

Tipu Sultan Palace, Bangalore

Located in a bustling market region, the ancient Tipu Sultan fort is famous for the artistic work of yesteryear. Constructed in 16th century with just mud bricks, it was an important monument of the past. Later, it was rebuilt using granite stones by Haider Ali. The construction was completed by Tipu sultan in 18th century and used it as his summer palace.

This two-storied building is famous for its arched balconies, carved structures, pillars and much more. Although built in an Islamic style, you can find a few Hindu temples too. The palace also holds an art gallery inside it, which includes ancient paintings, carvings, photographs and much more. After you are done with the palace, surf the city market near the palace for souvenir shopping.

When to visit: From Sunday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Cost: Indians – INR 15 per head; Foreigners – INR 200 per head

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Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore

This is a cliche botanical garden filled with more than 1800 species of herbs, trees, flowering plants and much more. The main element of this garden is the lawn clock, which is unique to the country. This garden was constructed by Haider Ali and was re-designed by Tipu Sultan. The garden holds a glass house, similar to London Crystal Palace. The garden covers 240 acres of land. If you visit in January or August, you can witness flower shows in the garden.

Bangalore Palace, Bangalore

Bangalore Palace was built in 19th century, inspired from Windsor Castle of England. It was built by Chamaraja Wodeyar in Tudor style. It has woodcarvings, turrets, beautiful vintage furniture and many other iconic elements. The palace is surrounded by 430 acres of garden. Today, the palace is used for conducting concerts, exhibitions and others.

Nandi Hills, Bangalore

This is a small hill located 60 km away from Bangalore. This monolithic granite hill is famous for its panoramic viewpoints. You can find a Nandhi temple on top of the hill. Located 1478 m above sea level, this hill station holds pleasing climate, throughout the year. Other tourist attractions on this hill are Yoga Nandeeshwara temple, origin sites of River Palar, River Arkavathi, Amruth Sarovar, Tippu Drop and so on. You can enjoy cycling, trekking, motorbike rides and other adventure activities here. Nandhi Hills and 20 other heritage sites of Karnataka are about to get augmented reality features with an investment of INR 120 crores (source).

Cubbon Park, Bangalore

Cubbon Park covers 300 acres of land of greenery, lawns, walkway and much more. If you love romantic walks, this is the right place to enjoy. You can find a few statues here and there in the park. In the evening, the Cubbon Park becomes more mesmerizing with lights. Other attractions to enjoy in this park are aquarium visit, toy train ride, museum and others.

National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore

This gallery holds more than 500 paintings of famous artists of the past. You can also find paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore and others. You can also shop for paintings; enjoy exhibitions or auditorium shows (if any).

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St. Mary’s Basilica, Bangalore

This Basilica is the oldest church of the region. It is very famous for the St. Mary’s feast, which takes place in September. The church was first built in 17th century and then was rebuilt in 19th century. This is one of the six Basilicas of India. There are numerous legends associated with the church. Apart from religious anecdotes, the church is famous for its beautiful pillars, Gothic structures, stained windows and much more.

Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore

It is the legislative assembly building. Built in 20th century in Indo-Saracenic style, this is one of the most famous landmarks of the region.

Chola Temples, Bangalore

Bangalore region was ruled by Cholas, in the past. It is customary for rulers to build lavishing temples to create a memoir of their name. You can find such temples in Bangalore. Most of these temples are more than 1500 years old and you can find interesting sculptures, carvings and other details in the temple. Top temples to visit are Halasuru Someshwara temple, Old Madiwala Someshwara temple, Sri Ananda Lingeshwara temple, Domlur Chokkanathaswamy temple and so on. If you are looking for some modern temples, visit ISKCON temple.

Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore

Bannerghatta national park is famous for safari, eco-tourism and a small zoo, Champakadham valley and much more. You can take up buttery farm visit, jungle safari, boating and other activities too.

Top Ten Destinations Things to Enjoy in Alleppey, Kerala

Alleppey is not just an average sightseeing destination of Kerala. Weighted with the backwaters and the knowledge of Ayurveda, this is one of the top destinations for tourists in the God’s Own Country. Although tourists give more importance to houseboat ride and massages, these are not the only activities to experience in Alleppey, Kerala.

Alleppey

Those who have travelled the quaint routes of Alleppey would have many experiences of unique activities that they will cherish forever.

Kayaking or Canoeing or Houseboat in Alleppey

The backwaters of Kerala are well known for houseboats. Yes, it is one of the most beautiful and traditionally royal way to explore the riddled backwaters lined with canopying coconut trees and bordering paddy fields. However, houseboats are not the only mode of water transportation. You can choose to ride a kayak or canoe on the water. If you are choosing winter to visit Kerala, you can combine your water activity with birdwatching. Top bird species to spot here are White Throated Kingfishers, Stork Billed, Black Dronga, Jungle Myna and others.

Relax in Beaches of Alleppey

The coastal line of this region has a rich maritime history. You can find lighthouse in the beach to get a panoramic view. Beach is a best spot for spending a peaceful vacation time or a romantic evening. You can also find an old pier, which gets you closer to the sea. Along the beaches of Kerala, you can find small shops, where you can find sea based souvenirs and coir handicraft items. If you are up for some exploration, you can talk to local fishermen to take you on a ride on their catamaran.

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5000-year-old Ayurvedic massages in Alleppey

Thanks to the geographical wealth of Kerala, the land is abundant with herbs and plant products that are extensively used in the ancient medical science, Ayurveda. The skill of Ayurvedam is traditionally taught within the families. You can find many traditional Ayurveda homes, where experts provide massages and treatments for many acute and chronic problems. There are also many resorts, which provide Ayurveda experience with a luxury pampering.

Spa charges: starting from INR 1,000 per session

Experience rural life at Kuttanad Village, Alleppey

The entire Kerala is not just with luxury resorts and exotic activities. The rural destinations of the state have much more to provide you. This land gets its wealth for its cultivation. Do you know that the European countries took interest in the country because of the spices and wealth of Kerala coast? Kerala has the traditional method of cultivating in regions, which are around 10 ft below the average sea level. The best place to experience the rural face of Kerala is Kuttanad Village, the lowest point of the country. You can watch waterways, traditional agriculture activities, farmlands and enjoy the fresh cuisine of the land. Have you seen a duck farm? You can find one easily here.

Enjoy the Traditional Marital Art Performance in Alleppey

Kalaripayattu is an important marital art skill of Kerala. This technique is taught in special schools by experts. You can stay to learn the basics of this art or catch a performance by experts.

Go for divine searching in Alleppey

You might be a pious person or an atheist. This will not stop you from enjoying the culture and color of the spiritual destinations of Alleppey. This backwater region has a rich density of Christianity and Hinduism. You can find ancient and modern temples and churches, in harmony. If you really wish to enjoy the culture, you ought to visit during any local festival. Top religious sites to visit are Chettikulangara Bhagavathy temple, St. Mary’s Church, Latin Catholic Church, St. Andrew’s Florence Forance Church, Ambalapuzha Krishna Temple and so on.

Spend a day with Elephants in Alleppey

A little away from Experience in Alleppey, there is an elephant training camp. This camp allows tourists to feed, bathing and play with elephants. You can also enjoy elephant rides around the camp. The only catch here is that the mahouts and camp managers know only the local language. You ought to bring some local guide with you to help you with the whole process. If you were travelling with your kids, this would be a wonderful experience in Alleppey, for your family.

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Shopping in Alleppey

Any cultural destination will have a lot of culture and historic based souvenirs and art works for sale. Any natural-beauty destination will have its list of nature based products and articles. Then, there is Alleppey, which is a culture infused natural paradise. The list of things to buy is abundant and the local stores are open with smile. Top things to buy here are spices, handicrafts items, artifact replica, trinkets, jewelry, coir products, infused oil, natural products and maritime souvenirs. Best market in the region in Alappuzha Zakariya Market.

Traditional Homestay in Alleppey

Forget resorts. The best way to experience the real Kerala is by choosing to stay in homestay. The homestay are historic heritage homes, which maintains the décor and hospitality of the traditional high society families of Kerala. You can enjoy and experience the culture and tradition of the land. The staffs will help you with local unique activities around the region, with ease. They are the best local guides you could ever find.

Cuisine of Alleppey

There is something about the flavor of coconut and fragrance of fresh spices in their cuisine. It helps to bring out the taste palate of seafood like no other cuisine. Thanks to coconut, their cuisine is creamy and rich. The cuisine also takes advantage of the fresh floral scent of banana leaf, which is used as a plate for serve dishes. When it comes to vegetarian dishes, the region has a variety of local produce and the right assortment of spices for different types of vegetables.

Alleppey is much deeper and beautiful that just these ten activities. There are so many things to experience in Alleppey such as Sunset view in Alleppey, explore snack boat race festival, go for a bird watching and wildlife tours, spend quality time at Marari Beach, Talk with local people and learn about other activities that you can experience in Alleppey.

Define Complete Travel Guide to Trivandrum, Kerala

Define Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala and a defined place for tourism. Trivandrum is also known as Thiruvananthapuram which is the southern-most district of Kerala. Trivandrum is a place to many exotic beaches, religious sites, water sports and mainly for its weather. The weather of Trivandrum attracts tourists because the first south-west monsoon showers will be started here in Trivandrum at early of June.

Define

Trivandrum receives a very substantial rainfall rather than other districts in Kerala. Trivandrum is a beautiful city in Kerala built on seven hills which is the perfect blend for tourism.

History of Trivandrum

Another name to the city Trivandrum is Thiruvananthapuram. The word Thiruvananthapuram is derived from “Tiru”, “Anantha”, “Puram” it means “The town of Lord Anantha”. Anantha means the serpent Shesha on whom Vishnu lies. This city was ruled by Ays till the 10th century. After their defeat, this city was ruled by the rulers of Venad.

Even the East India Company tried a lot to conquer the city of Trivandrum at the time of Umayamma Rani. But the glory and greatness of Trivandrum came to light after the rule of Marthanda Varma who is also known as the “Father of modern Travancore”. After the rule of Marthanda Varma, the glory of Trivandrum continued by the Maharaja Swathi Thiruna.

At lost slowly in the time of 1834 English education came into power. At the time of 1904, the Shri Moolam assembly came into force. This is the historical timeline of Trivandrum from the 10th century. During this time many historical monumentstemples, are taken place which is now has become tourist attractions. The glory of Trivandrum history can be seen in the great heritage monuments.

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Tourist attractions

Trivandrum is the best tourist spot in Kerala for all type of tourists. This place is ideal for family trips, picnic spots, tours with friends etc. The tourist attractions in Trivandrum are many religious sites, beaches, museums, etc. Not in one many things, in Trivandrum will make you a beautiful holiday trip in your life.

Religious Places

The word Trivandrum itself gives the reflection of religious harmony. There are many temples in Trivandrum which are the major attraction of tourism. The most popular temple in Trivandrum is the Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Padmanabhaswamy temple is the most visited temple and the famous one in Trivandrum. This temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu in eternal sleep posture. This temple is the best example of an architectural style of Dravidian’s. The architectural style and the spirituality of this temple attract a large number of tourists from all sides of the country. Recently, this temple was listed in one of the richest temples in the world.

Some of the other famous temples in Trivandrum are Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple, etc. Among them, Attukal Bhagawati Temple is another famous one popularly known as the “Sabarimala of women”. The major festival of this temple is Pongal a lot number of people attend this festival.

These are the famous religious sites in Trivandrum. But when you are going to visit temples in Trivandrum a specific traditional dress code must be maintained by both men and women.

Blissful Beaches

As we know Trivandrum is located on the seacoast so many beaches attract tourists. The most famous beach in Trivandrum is the Kovalam beach. Some other famous beaches are the Hawa beach, Shanghumukham beach etc. The famous sculpture by Raja Ravi Varma of Jalakanyaka (Mermaid) in Shanghumukham beach is the famous attraction.

The Kovalam beach is located at 16 kms away from the city and a favorite spot for tourists. Kovalam beach is the most popular one for its attractive pleasant environment and weather. The calm waters and the long shorelines attract a large number of tourists.

The major attraction of Kovalam beach is the Vizhinjam lighthouse. Sunset view of the Kovalam beach is unforgettable and most watchable. The beach offers also Ayurvedic massage and Yoga facilities. So never miss the way to Kovalam beach.

Enlightened Museums

Museums in Trivandrum are the reflectors of heritage, culture, and tradition. The famous museums in Trivandrum are the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, Napier Museum, and Sree Chithra Art Gallery.

Kuthiramalika Palace Museum is located near to the Padmanabhaswamy temple which was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma. This temple name was derived from the carved wooden horses. The structure of this museum will rewind us the architectural style of Travancore. The attractions of this museum are paintings, traditional furniture, and the collections of Royal family.

Napier is another famous museum in Trivandrum. Napier museum is a symbol of Indo-Saracenic architectural style. This museum holds some rare and unseen collections of ancient ornaments, archaeological artifacts, idols, and ivory carvings etc. Napier Museum is the right place to experience Kerala’s rich cultural heritage.

Sree Chithra Art Gallery is the collection of paintings by the well-known and popular artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Nicholas Roerich, and Svetlova. This art gallery exhibits the exquisite works from the Mughal, Rajput, and Tanjore School of Art.

These are all the famous and popular museums in Trivandrum which are must be visited. Exhibiting things in these museum makes you aware of the culture and tradition of Kerala.

Agasthya Peak

Agasthya koodam is the famous peak situated at an altitude of nearly 1800 mt above the sea level. This peak is the second highest peak in Kerala and a pilgrim center to Hindus. Women are not allowed to this place because according to the tradition this place was home to the great sage Agasthya, a confirmed bachelor.

Agasthya Peak is home to many valuable Ayurvedic herbs and medicinal plants. A famous attraction of this peak is the Neelakurinji, means a flower which blooms only once in twelve years. This peak is dedicated to secure the abundant wildlife and birds. Trekking is allowed here near the Neyyar Dam, but the pass must be taken from the Forest Department.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the rich flora and fauna. This wildlife sanctuary was spread over 53 sq miles and a rich habitat and environment. Wildlife lovers will be attracted most to this sanctuary. Animals that are common here are the elephants, sambars, lion-tailed macaques, leopards, and cormorants.

Things to do and enjoy in Trivandrum

The best things to do in Trivandrum are the shopping, exploring eatable dishes, fairs, and festivals. Trivandrum is the best place for shopping and food items.

Food Stops

Kerala is famous for their spices. Food recipes in Trivandrum are delicious and tasty. The famous food stops for tourists are the Hotel Annapoorna for vegetarians opposite Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple. Other famous food stops are:

  • Indian Coffee House, Central Station Road.
  • Hotel Buhari, Pazhavangadi.
  • Sindoor Palace Restaurant, Thiruvananthapuram Thenmala Road.
  • Coffee Hut, Vazhuthacaud.
  • For a variety of Dosas, Nirvedhya cafe Udupi, Palayam.

Shopping in Trivandrum

Shopping is the important thing to do when you visit a new place. Trivandrum is famous for different shopping destinations. Famous shopping destinations in Trivandrum are Chalai Bazaar, Connemara Market, Attukal Shopping complex and the Sarwaa etc. These shopping destinations are home to all home needs, decor things, ethnic jewelry, handicrafts.

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Fairs and Festivals in Trivandrum

Attending fairs and festivals in Trivandrum are the most interesting thing. The famous festival of Kerala is the Onam. Onam is celebrated in a grand way with floral decorations, classical and folk touch, water carnivals etc. The major attraction of Onam is the boat races. Onam festival will be taken place every year in the months of August and September.

Another famous festival in Trivandrum is the Classical Music Festival which takes place every year from January 27 to February 3. At this event, many participants will be welcomed from all sides of the country. All the participants will show their talents in Carnatic and Hindustani music. These are the famous fairs and festivals celebrated in Trivandrum.

Best time to Visit Trivandrum

The best time to visit Trivandrum is from October to February. During this time rainfall is moderate and perfect for visiting places. Weather in Trivandrum is so cool and pleasant with a minimum temperature of 180 during winters.

How to reach Trivandrum

Trivandrum is a major city in Kerala. So there will be no problem for transportation. It is connected to all major cities.

By Air means you have to reach the Trivandrum International Airport. Many regular flights will be operated to and from Trivandrum.

By Rail means you have to reach Central Railway Station at Thampanoor which links Trivandrum to many cities.

By Road means you can easily access to Trivandrum by regular buses from south Indian cities like Chennai, Madurai, Bangalore etc.

Best 6 Breathtaking Kerala Waterfalls You Must Visit

Refreshing, captivating and astounding, Kerala waterfalls are truly the best display of nature’s art. ‘God’s Own Country’ is home to around 27 impressive waterfalls. From offering exciting adventure experiences to being ideal picnic spots, these majestic waterfalls of Kerala invoke a deep sense of adventure in you.

Kerala

Here is a list featuring the top Kerala waterfalls you simply cannot miss:

1. Athirapally Waterfalls

Athirapally Waterfalls is situated in Thrissur district, 86 km from Kochi or Kozhikode. It is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Falling from a height of 25 m, it is also famed as the largest waterfall in the state. Athirapally Falls is surrounded by lush forests with abundant wildlife and numerous trails. Its magnificent location and unparalleled beauty make it the number one spot among the best Kerala waterfalls. The months between September and January are considered to be the best time to witness the majestic Athirapally Waterfalls.

How to reach: Tourists can board a direct bus or a private vehicle to Athirapally Waterfalls from Thrissur (60 km), Chalakudy (31.2 km) or Kochi.

2. Vazhachal Waterfalls

Of all the popular destinations in Kerala, one that steals the limelight is Vazhachal Waterfalls. Barely 5 km from Athirapally, this spectacular, 120 m high waterfall serves as a great picnic spot for vacationers, wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Set amidst picturesque landscapes offering rich natural views, the Vazhachal Waterfalls looks its best after the monsoon bids adieu. Therefore, tourists are advised to visit the place between September and February.

How to reach: Vazhachal Waterfalls is well connected by road to the major towns of Kerala, including Kochi (91 km) and Thrissur (66 km). Alternatively, tourists can also avail private/public transport to reach the spot.

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3. Soochipara Waterfalls

Soochipara Waterfalls is one of the most attractive waterfalls in Kerala. It is also popular as the Sentinel Rock Waterfalls. At a height of 200 m, it is located in Wayanad district, 43 km from Sulthan Bathery and 23 km from Kalpetta. Soochipara Waterfalls is a renowned adventure spot among travellers, as it is famous for activities like trekking and rock climbing. The ideal time to visit the Soochipara Falls is between June and October. There are also a number of attractions located close to the waterfall, including Vaduvanchaal, Chembra Peak and Kanthapara falls.

How to reach: To reach Soochipara Waterfalls, one can take public/private transport to a common point located close to the waterfalls and enjoy a walk from there. You can also drive your own vehicle to Soochipara Waterfalls.

4. Meenmutty Waterfalls

One of the best places to visit in Kerala is Meenmutty Waterfalls, cascading from a great height of 300 m. The breathtakingly beautiful waterfall in Wayanad lies within a forest, where huge numbers of tourists come seeking peace. Meenmutty Waterfall has a 3 km trail suitable for trekking. The rocky terrain also provides a spectacular view of the Banasura Sagar Dam across River Karamanathodu, which happens to be India’s largest earth dam. The place is ideal for a day trip. Winter and spring, usually lasting from October to May, are the best seasons to visit Meenmutty Falls.

How to reach: Meenmutty Waterfalls can be reached via road from Kalpetta (47 km) and Sulthan Bathery (23 km).

5. Thoovanam Waterfalls

Located within the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thoovanam Waterfalls in Idukki district is one of the most spectacular Kerala waterfalls. The serene and wonderful views of the surroundings inside the forest are a remarkable sight. A trekking trail winding through the forest takes you to the waterfall. You should ideally visit the Thoovanam Falls during the post-monsoon months. It is indeed a major vacation spot in Kerala and you should definitely not miss it.

How to reach: One can reach Thoovanam Waterfalls by trekking 4 km from Alampetty Checkpost located on Udulmapet-Munnar Highway. It is also connected by bus from Munnar.

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6. Lakkam Waterfalls

Located 24 km from Munnar, Lakkam is undoubtedly one of the most visited waterfalls in Kerala. It flows down a steep hill gushing over the rocks. You can plunge your toes in the crystal-clear waters as you spend a leisurely time or take a dip in the pool to refresh your mind. Some of the best places to visit in Kerala lying close to Lakkam Waterfalls  are the Marayoor Dolmens and Eravikulam National Park. The best time to visit this spot is between the months of October to January.

The 5 Best Kolkata Restaurants for Foodies

The ‘city of joy’, Kolkata is a gastronomical delight. There isn’t a cuisine you can’t find here but certain foods like telebhajakaathi rolls, churmur and luchi aloor dum are distinctly Kolkata! While authentic Bengali dishes find a place on menus of most Kolkata restaurants, Chinese, Continental and Marwari cuisines are equally popular.

Kolkata

Here’s our pick on the top 5 Kolkata restaurants to enjoy a meal at.

1.      Kewpie’s

If mouthwatering Bengali food is what you’re looking for then Kewpie’s is a great choice. A small family-run restaurant, this place is one-of-a-kind run out of the owners’ home. Homely in every sense, the food is as delectable as what you may find in the fancier Kolkata restaurants. Kewpie’s uses recipes passed down over generations and the proof is in dishes like daab chingrichorchori and elish patur.

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2.      Flurys

Like most dining establishments in Kolkata, Flurys is probably the most iconic. Originally a tearoom set up the Flury family in 1927, it’s known for its fine European confectionaries. Over the years, Flurys has expanded to become a full-fledged restaurant while still maintaining its charming European café feel. Especially legendary at Flurys are their rum balls, scones and Christmas menu complete with roast turkey and pudding served during the holiday season.

3.      Sweet Shops

Milk based desserts are an essential part of Bengali cuisine. Rasgulla, sandesh and mishti dohi are by far the most sought after and available at all the sweet shops scattered around town.  When in the city, make a stop at any of the Kolkata’s famous sweet shops including KC Das, Ganguram, Balram Mullick and Radharam Mullick, Gupta Brothers and Mouchak to satisfy your craving.

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4.      Mocambo

Back in the 50s, Mocambo was the place where everyone went to shake a leg and grab a bite while jazz singers crooned guests. Mocambo was eclectic and kitschy European for its time. Today, much of its past glory has been translated and retained especially on its Continental menu. The Fish à la Diana, Chicken A-La-Kiev and Prawn Cocktail are favourites definitely worth ordering. The Baked Alaska dessert is sensational!

5.      Chinatown aka Tangra

Because of the city’s large Chinese immigrant population, to find Chinese food in Kolkata restaurants in commonplace. For both authentic Chinese and ‘Indian Chinese’, make your way to Chinatown in an area popularly known as Tangra. Restaurants like Kim Fa, Beijing, Golden Joy and Kim Long serve everything from chilli chicken to wontons on the menu.